View Full Version : "Z" table for a drill press

Steve Voigt
12-21-2015, 1:26 AM
Last month I rebuilt my 75-year old Craftsman drill press--new bearings, new chuck, had the jacobs taper reground at a machine shop.

One oddball feature is that the head is not fixed at the top of the column--it slides up and down and can pivot 360. This gives a lot of adjustability, but the head is heavy and hard to move, and there is not enough room between the head and the table, or even the base, for some of the things I want to do.

So, I did three things. First, I swung the head 180 from its normal position. Second, I built a height-adjustable table, similar in concept to the knee of a mill. The table slides on 3/4" steel rods and bronze bushings, and is raised/lowered with a veneer press screw. Last, I modified a cheap cross-slide vise by driling/tapping two holes in the casting and flipping the "Y" carriage around, so the vise handle and Y handle are on the same side (which solves the typical problem of the handle running into the drill press column). It's not a mill, but it gives me a lot of options I didn't have before.

The whole thing is very utilitarian; there is almost no joinery other than bolts, and it's a total hodgepodge of different wood species and scrap plywood. But, it works!

Anyway, hope you enjoy; thanks for looking!